|Publication number||US8025308 B2|
|Application number||US 12/247,616|
|Publication date||Sep 27, 2011|
|Filing date||Oct 8, 2008|
|Priority date||Oct 9, 2007|
|Also published as||US20090243267|
|Publication number||12247616, 247616, US 8025308 B2, US 8025308B2, US-B2-8025308, US8025308 B2, US8025308B2|
|Inventors||James R. Fletcher, Keith P. Lane, Jesse B. Kirby, Pongdet P. Wipasuramonton, Mark A. Steinbach, Richard A. Wiik, Andrew J. Pitonyak|
|Original Assignee||Tk Holdings Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (14), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (7), Classifications (4), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/960,656, filed Oct. 9, 2007, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
The present disclosure relates to a curtain airbag (curtain-like airbag) that is deployed along a side of an interior of a vehicle, and more specifically, to a curtain airbag with geometry that is configured to more effectively retain an occupant inside the vehicle.
Most curtain airbags are not tall enough to have a bottom edge that is below the side window sill. Because of this, such airbags are generally not as effective at retaining occupants inside the vehicle in a side impact or rollover event if the occupant were to impact the airbag near its lower edge. If an occupant's body part were to impact near the bottom edge of the deployed airbag, it would deflect, allowing the impacting body part to excurse or escape out of the vehicle compartment.
It would be advantageous to provide a curtain airbag with geometry that more effectively retains an occupant inside the vehicle when the occupant impacts the lower portion of the airbag, proximate to the window sill.
One embodiment of the invention relates to a curtain airbag assembly for a vehicle. The curtain airbag assembly comprises an inflatable curtain airbag configured to prevent egress of an occupant out of a window during a collision or rollover event. When the curtain airbag is inflated, a bottom edge of the curtain airbag extends below a window sill in a vehicle. The distance the inflated curtain airbag extends below the window sill is greater than a radius of curvature of the inflated curtain airbag.
Another embodiment relates to a curtain airbag assembly for a vehicle. The curtain airbag assembly comprises an inflatable curtain airbag configured to prevent egress of an occupant out of a window during a collision or rollover event. When the curtain airbag is inflated, the inflated curtain airbag includes a bottom edge of a majority of the inflated curtain airbag and at least one tab extension extending from the majority bottom edge. The bottom edge of a majority of the inflated curtain airbag extends toward a bottom edge of the window and ends before reaching the bottom edge of the window. The bottom edge of the at least one tab extension extends below the bottom edge of the window.
It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only, and are not restrictive of the invention as claimed.
These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description, appended claims, and the accompanying exemplary embodiments shown in the drawings, which are briefly described below.
The curtain airbag 30 may be divided into two or more compartments or chambers 32. Passages or ports 33 are generally provided between individual chambers 32 such that the chambers 32 are in fluid communication with each other. The curtain airbag 30 may also have a multitude of un-inflated portions such as un-inflated portions that generally separate the chambers 32.
The inflated curtain airbag 30 has a minimum ratio of cushion pressure to inflated chamber width 34. According to an exemplary embodiment, the ratio is between 0.1 kPa/mm and 1.5 kPa/mm. According to an exemplary embodiment, the ratio of the interior pressure of the curtain airbag 30 to the width of the chamber 32 is about 0.1 kPa/mm for an inflated chamber 32 with a width equal to or greater than 150 mm.
When inflated, the curtain airbag 30 may be tensioned in the fore-aft direction. The curtain airbag 30 may include an upper portion between the roof of the vehicle 10 and the tensioned portion and a lower end below the tensioned portion.
Referring still to
However, because the depth 36 of the chamber 32 is greater than the distance 40 between the head 14 and the window sill 18, the chamber 32 must be compressed by the occupant 12 before the curtain airbag 30 may be pushed through the window opening 17. Having a curtain airbag 30 including chambers 32 with a depth 36 greater than the distance 40 between the head 14 of an occupant 12 and the window sill 18 reduces the chance of the occupant 12 pushing the curtain airbag 30 through the window opening 17 in an impact scenario.
Providing a curtain airbag 30 including chambers 32 with a sufficient length and depth allows the curtain airbag 30 to more effectively retain an occupant 12 in the vehicle 10 by reducing the likelihood that the occupant 12 can force the curtain airbag 30 out the window opening 17 with an impact proximate to the window sill 18.
While the curtain airbag 30 has been described with chambers 32 that are configured to extend past the window sill 18 along the bottom edge of the window opening 17, the airbag 30 may further overlap other structural members around the window opening such as the A pillar 52, the B pillar 54, the C pillar 56 and the roof rail 58. Additionally, the curtain airbag 30 may overlap a D pillar (not shown) or other vehicle structural members. According to various exemplary embodiments, the curtain airbag 30 may include chambers 32 oriented in any direction that are configured to extend past the edges of the window opening 17 and contact these structural members in a manner similar to that shown in
Referring now to
Like curtain airbag 30, cushion 130 may be divided into two or more main compartments or chambers 132 that are in fluid communication with each other. The cushion 130 may also have a multitude of un-inflated portions such as un-inflated portions that generally separate the chambers 132. However, unlike the chambers 32 of airbag 30, the bottom edges of the main chambers 132 of airbag 130 do not overlap the window sill 18. Likewise, the main chambers 132 may not overlap other structural members surrounding the window opening 17 such as the A pillar 52, the B pillar 54, the C pillar 56, or the D pillar (not shown). Instead, the airbag 132 includes one or more tabs 150 (e.g., protruding portions, extensions, arms, etc.)) along the outer periphery of the cushion 132. The tabs 150 are in fluid communication with the main chambers 132 and are likewise inflated along with the main chambers 132 by the inflator 122. The tabs 150 are configured to extend past the periphery of the main chambers 132 and, likewise, beyond the edges of the window openings 17 (including the window sills 18). The tabs 150 may contact structural members surrounding the window openings (i.e., the doors, the A pillar 52, the B pillar 54, the C pillar 56, D pillar, etc.) to reduce the likelihood that an occupant 12 may push the airbag cushion 130 through the window opening 17 in a collision.
According to one exemplary embodiment, the tabs 150 may be configured to extend past the window opening by a distance so that the generally linear sidewalls of the cushion contact the edges of the window opening 17 instead of the rounded edge of the airbag cushion 130 as described above in regards to the chambers 32 of curtain airbag 30. The tabs 150 may have a thickness that is greater than the distance between the head 14 of an occupant 12 and the edge of the window opening 17 to help retain the occupant 12 in the vehicle as described above in regards to the chambers 32 of curtain airbag 30.
By providing tabs 150, the airbag cushion 130 may advantageously increase the likelihood that an occupant 12 of the vehicle 10 will be retained in the vehicle 10 in a collision without increasing the overall size of the airbag cushion 130 so that the main chambers 132 of the cushion 130 themselves extend past the window openings 17. The use of tabs 150 allows an airbag cushion 130 to help retain occupants 12 in the vehicle 10 without a substantial increase in the amount of material needed to manufacture the cushion 130, without a substantial increase in the amount of gas that needs to be generated by the inflator 122 to inflate and deploy the airbag cushion 130, and without a substantial increase in the amount of space needed to store the airbag cushion 130 in a stowed position.
For purposes of this disclosure, the term “coupled” means the joining of two members directly or indirectly to one another. Such joining may be stationary in nature or moveable in nature and/or such joining may allow for the flow of fluids, electricity, electrical signals, or other types of signals or communication between the two members. Such joining may be achieved with the two members or the two members and any additional intermediate members being integrally formed as a single unitary body with one another or with the two members or the two members and any additional intermediate members being attached to one another. Such joining may be permanent or releasable in nature.
The construction and arrangement of the elements of the curtain airbag as shown in the various exemplary embodiments is illustrative only. Although only a few embodiments have been described in detail in this disclosure, those skilled in the art who review this disclosure will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible (e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes and proportions of the various elements, values of parameters, mounting arrangements, use of materials, colors, orientations, etc.) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the subject matter recited herein. For example, elements shown as integrally formed may be constructed of multiple parts or elements, the position of elements may be reversed or otherwise varied, and the nature or number of discrete elements or positions may be altered or varied. It should be noted that the elements and/or assemblies of the system may be constructed from any of a wide variety of materials that provide sufficient strength or durability, including any of a wide variety of moldable plastic materials in any of a wide variety of colors, textures and combinations. Other substitutions, modifications, changes and omissions may be made in the design, operating conditions and arrangement of the exemplary embodiments.
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|Jun 5, 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TK HOLDINGS INC., MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:FLETCHER, JAMES R.;LANE, KEITH P.;KIRBY, JESSE B.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:022796/0098;SIGNING DATES FROM 20081014 TO 20090520
Owner name: TK HOLDINGS INC., MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:FLETCHER, JAMES R.;LANE, KEITH P.;KIRBY, JESSE B.;AND OTHERS;SIGNING DATES FROM 20081014 TO 20090520;REEL/FRAME:022796/0098
|Mar 19, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4